FIRST AMONG EQUALS
Here at Purling London, we’ve made it our mission to promote chess as a game for women and girls. But our commitment to that endeavour doesn’t mean we neglect the other half of the population…
As we discussed in our last blog post, we’ve been delighted by the recent Queen’s Gambit -inspired influx of women into the chess world. But our range includes some wonderful, one-of-a-kind Art Games and bespoke gifts for men, since we firmly believe that chess is a game for thinkers and players of both sexes to embrace and enjoy.
In fact, you could see the chess-set itself as a model of equality. Consider. The board’s 64 squares are evenly divided between black and white – or in our case, whatever two colours our brilliant artists and designers see fit. Each player has precisely the same forces at her or his disposal at the start of the game. Although the title of Knight remains stubbornly restricted to men, that of Bishop now definitely isn’t (and about time, too). Rook comes from an old Persian word meaning ‘chariot’; if you insist on calling these pieces Castles (please don’t) the term is at least also entirely gender-neutral.
As everyone knows, it’s a woman, in the form of the mighty Queen, who is the most powerful piece on the board. But the final outcome is determined by the capture, capitulation – or, in the case of a stalemate, cowardice or sheer cussedness – of her rather hapless consort, the King. All’s fair in love, war, and chess.
And chess itself is a great leveller. It requires focus, acuity and the ability to rapidly sift and select from multiple options and scenarios simultaneously, rather than physical strength, so women and men can play on absolutely equal terms. So as gifts for men, our Art Chess sets have the added bonus of being treats you can share and enjoy together.
With this in mind, our range of chess sets and Art Games includes something for everyone. You’ll find impressive, elegantly hand-illustrated chess pieces, and bold, one-of-one chess sets created by emerging talents and established names. As well as chess sets in traditional colours and muted tones, we have pieces finished in metallic, iridescent and other striking effects that are guaranteed to spark conversations; they’re for thinkers, not just players.
Our Art Chess sets are made to last and be treasured for generations, making them ideal gifts for your husband or partner’s significant birthday, your son’s engagement or graduation, or something special for grandad on his golden wedding anniversary. But because we give equal weight to artistry and playability, our Art Chess sets are designed to be used and played with all year round, not just on special occasions. Bespoke gifts for men, fit for a king.